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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Grand Jury: Harding Was Involved in Attack

PORTLAND, Oregon -- An Oregon grand jury has stated that there was evidence that figure skater Tonya Harding did participate in the plot to attack rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and used money from the U.S. Figure Skating Association to finance the assault.


Because of Harding's plea bargain Wednesday with Multnomah County authorities and former husband Jeff Gillooly's separate agreement on Feb. 1, neither Harding nor Gillooly were indicted Monday along with her onetime bodyguard Shawn Eric Eckardt, getaway car driver Derrick Brian Smith and hit man Shane Minoaka Stant.


According to the indictment, Eckardt, Smith and Stant agreed with Harding and Gillooly "to unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly cause physical injury to Nancy Kerrigan by means of a dangerous weapon" -- the retractable metal baton Stant used to club Kerrigan on her right leg on Jan. 6, after she finished a practice in Detroit.


The indictment also said the conspirators schemed to defraud the USFSA by misrepresenting Harding's skating expenses, then used those funds and others provided by the USFSA to hire Smith and Stant to assault Kerrigan. The motive, according to the grand jury's statement, was to give Harding a better chance to win the national championship and to receive money from sponsors.


Harding has insisted she knew nothing about the plan until returning to Portland Jan. 10 from the U.S. Olympic trials in Detroit. With Kerrigan out of the competition, Harding won the 1994 national title and one of the two spots on the U.S. team. At the Olympics, Kerrigan finish second, six slots ahead of Harding.


Following Monday's indictments, Eckardt, Smith and Stant all pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, assault, conspiracy to commit assault and unlawfully obtaining communications.